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Page 99 - I mention such details to explain just how obseivations were made and conclusions arrived at. In regard to the second point, with rare exceptions the birds were found to be flying from north-west to south-east. I do not mean that this was absolutely the direction, but that it was the approximate and general one. It is not within the scope of the present paper to do more than give details on two other points, namely, the estimated number of birds passing through a given space during a given time,...
Page 169 - t and elsewhere) carefully reconsidered, with the aid of all the material accessible, including many specimens not previously in hand. This reconsideration of the subject has, in not a few cases, resulted in a reversal of former opinion, specimens from important localities not before represented often deciding the point one way or the other. Every form whose characteristics bear unmistakably the impress of climatic or * A Description of Sixteen New Species of North American Birds, by Jacob P.
Page 236 - The claims of each species to be considered a member of the New-England fauna are critically examined, and not one is admitted upon insufficient evidence of its occurrence within this area; the design being to give a thoroughly reliable list of the birds, with an account of the leading facts in the life-history of each species. The plan of the work includes brief descriptions of the birds themselves, enabling one to identify any specimen he may have in hand; the local distribution, migration, and...
Page 251 - Within a few hours," says Mr. Frazar, "it had become a serious matter with them, as they could make scarcely any progress. As long as they were in the trough of the sea the wind had little effect on them, but as soon as they reached the crest of a wave it would catch them up and in an instant they were blown hundreds of yards back or else into the water and drowned. . It was sad indeed to see them struggling along by the side of the vessel in trying to pass ahead of her, for as...
Page 135 - At times 4 or 5 individuals become detached, and until they can unite with a stronger party they fly Irregularly about as though bewildered, continually uttering their harsh notes, and hurry eagerly away to join the first flock that comes in view. The order of flight is invariably a single rank, the birds moving side by side in a line at right angles to their course so that the entire strength of a flock is to be seen at a glance along its front, which at times covers several hundred yards. There...
Page 98 - THE MIGRATION OF BIRDS' \Xf HILE showing some friends the astronomical observatory and accessories connected with the College of New Jersey at Princeton, on the night of October 19, 1880, after looking at a number of objects through the 94-inch equatorial, we were shown the moon, then a few days past its full phase. While viewing this object my attention was at once arrested by numbers of small birds more or less plainly seen passing across the field of observation. They were in many cases very clearly...
Page 169 - ... rank. On the other hand, where the difference between allied forms is slight, but at the same time absolutely constant, and not coincident with a difference of habitat (eg, certain of the small Thrushes and the various forms of Junco), specific rank is upheld. There are some forms which future investigation, based upon adequate material, may decide to be of different rank from that accorded them here. We cheerfully acknowledge our fallibility, but at the same time would say that...
Page 33 - Sclater takes what seems to be quite the most reasonable view, when he states that they " are all very closely related to one another, and, in reality, form little more than one group, equivalent to other socalled families of birds...
Page 135 - ... flock, consisting of perhaps over a hundred birds arranged in single line, is hurrying on, straight as an arrow, toward its destination, when, without warning, it suddenly makes a wide curving detour of several hundred yards, then resumes its original course only to frequently repeat the maneuver, but always with such unison that the closest scrutiny fails to reveal the least break or irregularity in the line; nor does the front of the flock swerve, excepting an occasional slight obliquity which...
Page 136 - ... motions such as pass along a pennant In a slight breeze. The black brant never wings its way far up in the sky, as many other geese have the habit of doing, but keeps, as a rule, between 10 and 30 yards above the ground, with more flocks below these limits than above them. Another idiosyncrasy of this bird is its marked distaste for passing over low ranges of hills which may cross its path. A striking case of this is shown here where a low spur runs out from the distant hills in the form of a...